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Tiny new ST notebook computers from Atari

technofile  by al fasoldt

Columns and commentaries in a life-long dance with technology

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Tiny new ST notebook computers from Atari 

By Al Fasoldt

Copyright © 1991, The Syracuse Newspapers

Apple wants everyone to know that it has some new laptop Macintosh computers on the way. They'll be smaller and lighter than the Apple Mack truck that has been sold for a few years as the portable Mac.

But Apple's big European competitor has again beaten the Mac boys to the punch. At last week's CeBIT computer show in Germany—the largest in the world—the maker of the ST computer showed two tiny new laptops, both using the same central chip that the ST and Mac use.

The company, Atari Computer, showed what sources said were prototypes. One of the models, a touch-pad model that gets its input from anything you write on the screen, used artificial intelligence and got a lot of attention at the show. However, it is less likely to reach production than the other model.

The second model had nearly all the features of the company's full-size laptop, called STacy, along with some new attractions. Among them are:

  • A battery life of 10 hours, using standard, rechargeable AA cells.
  • A tiny, internal hard drive of 60 megabytes, in the most expensive version.
  • Memory cards that can support up to 4 megabytes.
  • An internal memory of 4 megabytes in the top version.
  • An exceptionally slim case, less than an inch thick.
  • A sharp black-and-white display.

It was not clear whether the new laptop will be able to run Macintosh programs through an emulator, like the full-sized ST laptop and the desktop ST computers do. But since it uses an improved version of the ST operating system, it probably will be able to use a smaller version of the emulator.

Atari did not say when the new laptop would be sold in stores.

Although Atari has been concentrating on the European market, it is now making a new desktop computer available in the United States—although at present sales are restricted to software developers and certain types of businesses. That computer is the TT, which competes directly with the top Macintosh model but costs less than half the price.

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